NETPOL: Explainer – What does the new policing bill say about restricting protests?

28 April 2021


One would have thought the whole point of protest would be to cause disruption to bring attention to a cause. NETPOL handily breaks down the Nth proposed change from the UK government which has a scarily chilling effect on our rights and freedoms.

Since the confrontational crackdown by the Metropolitan Police on women holding a vigil for Sarah Everard at Clapham Common on 13 March, a growing movement has condemned police intolerance to the right to protest and warned this will only become worse with the passing of the government’s 307 page Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

So what exactly does the bill propose?

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is effectively four separate bills rolled into one mammoth piece of proposed new legislation. The four parts are:

  1. Protection of the Police
  2. Prevention, Investigation And Prosecution Of Crime
  3. Public order
  4. Unauthorised Encampments

Every part of the bill raises serious concerns and there are detailed explanations of these in relation to part 2 (by the Institute for Race Relations) and part 4 (by Friends, Families and Travellers).

Much of Netpol’s work has been in support of social and political movements taking part in protests, so these are our concerns in part 3 of the bill about proposed changes on public order….

NETPOL – What does the new policing bill say about restricting protests?

Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick has said new police powers are necessary “specifically to deal with protests where people are not primarily violent or seriously disorderly”

See also

Liberty files legal action over protest arrests

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